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Never a Dull Moment: 1971 The Year That Rock…
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Never a Dull Moment: 1971 The Year That Rock Exploded (original 2016; edition 2016)

by David Hepworth (Author)

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23221101,254 (4.08)4
"David Hepworth, an ardent music fan and well regarded critic, was twenty-one in '71, the same age as many of the legendary artists who arrived on the scene. Taking us on a tour of the major moments, the events and songs of this remarkable year, he shows how musicians came together to form the perfect storm of rock and roll greatness, starting a musical era that would last longer than anyone predicted. Those who joined bands to escape things that lasted found themselves in a new age, its colossal start being part of the genre's staying power"--Amazon.com.… (more)
Member:mortalfool
Title:Never a Dull Moment: 1971 The Year That Rock Exploded
Authors:David Hepworth (Author)
Info:Henry Holt and Co. (2016), 320 pages
Collections:Your library
Rating:****
Tags:None

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Never a Dull Moment: 1971 - The Year That Rock Exploded by David Hepworth (2016)

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English (19)  Italian (1)  Swedish (1)  All languages (21)
Showing 1-5 of 19 (next | show all)
This is a fun book, and Hepworth digs lightly into the life and times of each month of 1971, letting us know what was new on TV, how much gas cost, what the fashions were, etc.

He also talks a lot about (surprise surprise) the artists and the music of each month and makes a good case for it being a banner year for music. And, of course, it was. Bowie put out two albums. Lennon's Imagine came out. As did Carole King's Tapestry. And a ton more.

But to be honest, I think you could also make the same case for 1973, 1975-77, and likely 1979 at the very least, if not every damn year of the 70s. It was a great decade for music.

Like I said, a fun book, with lots of interesting anecdotes and mini-biographies. If I have one complaint, it's that the author, who also narrated this audio book, sounds constantly like he's pronouncing The Who's Baba O'Riley song as "Barbra O'Riley".

Which is just weird. ( )
  TobinElliott | Sep 3, 2021 |
This review was written for LibraryThing Early Reviewers.
This is a great book looking at the music in 1971. Hepworth does a wonderful job talking about the major players from the year.

The decision to structure this book by the month provides it with the scaffolding needed to discuss such diverse artists. This book discusses The Rolling Stones, T. Rex, The Who, and David Bowie among others. Standing behind everyone in the not so distant background are the various members of the Beatles, who appear at different points of the book because of how intertwined they were in the music industry. Without the month by month structure, the book would have felt very scattershot.

A book like this needs to provide some juicy, unknown details. Hepworth doesn’t just focus on the music. He also talks about their lives, like how some of the stars had to deal with crazy fans while trying to raise families at the same time. But the work dwarfs everything else, another issue Hepworth talks about when discussing the mansions these new stars were buying. The paramount concern for people like Neil Young was that the house have the ability to house a recording studio. Hepworth obviously did some deep research, because I felt like I knew the bands by the end of the book.

This is a great book for the music fan in your life. ( )
  reenum | Jun 8, 2021 |
1971 - Never a Dull Moment: Rock's Golden Year by David Hepworth is a look at the revolutionary musical year and how it changed the future of rock music. Hepworth is a music journalist, writer, and publishing industry analyst who has launched several successful British magazines, including Smash Hits, Q, Mojo and The Word, among many others.

I was eight in 1971 and although a bit young to remember most of the year I do remember bits and pieces. It was the year All in the Family aired. I thought Archie Bunker was funny but didn't understand the humor. It was the year astronauts rode the moon buggy on the surface of the moon. In music, how could anyone miss "Joy to the World", "Maggie Mae", and "Me and Bobby McGee". I remember the music because for the large part it is still around. Granted (and maybe, fortunately) the Osmonds’ "One Bad Apple" has gone away.

It was the start of the era where music stayed and although it was still around, bubblegum pop was being pushed aside. The big names came out and moved to their prime. Led Zeppelin, The Who, Pink Floyd, and Black Sabbath all found traction in 1971. The music industry started to change too. No longer was it waiting to play number one songs. It actively searched for them. Stations realised that it was better business to discover new music than merely follow along. I was fortunate to grow up with a very progressive radio station, WMMS, that promoted new bands. It was also the era of album rock and longer songs like "Stairway to Heaven" and the 45 you had to flip over to listen to the whole song "American Pie."

Hepworth examines the stories behind the music how the industry thought they were getting a mediocre album from Carole King. Even the photographer for the album cover arrived to find a frizzy-haired woman in jeans and a pullover sweater. She looked like she was about to go work in the garden not make an album cover. The photographer put her cat in the frame and suddenly "Tapestry" became an iconic album. Tomboy Karen Carpenter came to fame as the drummer who sang. Once she was moved from behind the drums to center stage she became self-conscious of her looks and body which eventually lead to tragedy. December 1970 was the end of the Beatles and 1971 was the year Mick Jagger worked to save the Stones from breaking up. Black Sabbath released “Sweet Leaf” showing that Keith Richards wasn’t the only one who could experiment with guitar tuning. And on the subject of experimental, Pink Floyd released “Meddle”.

1971 was a unique year. Music spread. The “Theme from Shaft” and “Jesus Christ Superstar” brought music to other media. Just a quick glance at the top albums shows how 1971 shaped music -- Led Zeppelin IV, Who’s Next, Hunky Dory, Sticky Fingers, LA Woman, Aqualung, The Yes Album, Pearl… 1971 is a playlist in a year. Even for me, the music from bands and singers I normally wouldn’t listen, Joni Mitchell or Funkadelic, to all made music that I like. Hepworth knits the year together and explains the importance of that year in music combines it with pop culture. One would be hard pressed to find another year that offers the range and quality of music.
( )
  evil_cyclist | Mar 16, 2020 |
This review was written for LibraryThing Early Reviewers.
(For an Early Reviewer copy)
David Hepworth makes a bold claim, right on the front cover. Even before starting, I had my doubts about music converging in one year to breakout and release a torrent of great music and genres that would continue for decades. In reality, the music scene is small, and artists tend to listen to great music, which helps to propagate award winning, multi-platinum material. What Hepworth shows us, in amazing detail, linking people and events by strands, is a domino effect in history (like James Burke's "Connections"). Happening in a studio on the other side of the world, amid cables, amps, guitars, sheet music and people, ripples to the other side, then echoes on for months. Our ears were blessed every day with the music that came out in the early "70s, we rejoiced in it with free radio, until the decades lapsed. Hepworth reminds us to dig out the old vinyl or tapes, and listen again. ( )
  jimcripps | Jan 19, 2018 |
I knew this wouldn't be a keeper, but I could get hold of a library copy? 'Never a dull moment' is perhaps a stretch, for both the year and the book - unless like the author you 'were born in 1950. For a music fan that's the winning ticket in the lottery of life'. I would like to have been born a good thirty years earlier, but only to go see Queen, who had only just recruited John Deacon to play bass in this year, so - meh.

The 'month by month journey through the past' covers bands and artists from Bruce Springsteen and Slade, Carole King and the Carpenters, Nick Drake (no idea, but he died young, not even making the 27 Club) and Led Zep, the Stones, Jim Morrison, Marc Bolan and Cat Stevens, George Harrison, Roxy Music, the Beach Boys and - yes, of course - David Bowie. Again and again and again. A good mix of US and UK artists, though, when I was expecting a purely British experience. The author also wanders off on tangents to recall Tower Records, Mick Jagger's wedding, the generation clash between 'serious people who fought in the war and pranksters with long hair who just wanted to enjoy things', Glastonbury (see previous), the Concert for Bangladesh, and the first 'reality TV' show, The American Family.

Subjective in his nostalgia, Hepworth doesn't hide how unimpressed he is by Marvin Gaye or how much he lerrrrvs Rod Stewart, which is fair enough, but saying that Yoko broke up the Beatles is a bit cliched. On top of the playlist for each month, there is also a suggested listening list of the year's top 100 albums, so interesting, amusing in parts, and instructive - but to get the full flavour, you probably had to be there. ( )
  AdonisGuilfoyle | Jul 23, 2017 |
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On New Year's Eve 1970, Paul McCartney instructed his lawyers to issue a writ at the High Court in London to wind up the Beatles.
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"David Hepworth, an ardent music fan and well regarded critic, was twenty-one in '71, the same age as many of the legendary artists who arrived on the scene. Taking us on a tour of the major moments, the events and songs of this remarkable year, he shows how musicians came together to form the perfect storm of rock and roll greatness, starting a musical era that would last longer than anyone predicted. Those who joined bands to escape things that lasted found themselves in a new age, its colossal start being part of the genre's staying power"--Amazon.com.

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